Mothers Fighting to Survive during Childbirth

September 6, 2011. In parts of East Africa, one of the biggest challenges for pregnant women is simply surviving. Health care is a luxury and almost impossible to come by.

Dr. Robert Walley
MaterCare International, Executive Director (Canada)

“Most mothers deliver on their own , most die on their own. They die of postpartum hemorrhage after they baby is born, they sanguinate.”

For years, Dr. Robert Walley and his team have been fighting this problem in Kenya. They developed a model called 'Project Isiolo,' which was discussed during MaterCare's International meeting in Rome. It's a simple yet effective health care system, where workers directly talk to villagers about their biggest concerns.

Dr. Robert Walley
MaterCare International, Executive Director (Canada)

“They need professionally trained people, midwives, doctors to look after them and that has to be as close to the mothers in the village as possible. There are no taxis, no buses, no roads and so on.”

Worldwide, roughly 330,000 women die every year during child birth. The biggest problem is lack of health care, but Dr. Walley says, amid this tragedy, there are those who are pushing their own interests.

Dr. Robert Walley
MaterCare International, Executive Director (Canada)

“The international community says 'oh yes, we're going to do something about the 5th millennium development goal, we're going to lower maternal mortality.' So what do they do? They want to push abortion and birth control.”

Another challenge is funding. Governments and some international groups shy away from giving grants to religious organizations. So, Dr.Walley says, the group mostly relies on individual support. In African villages, the Catholic Church provides roughly 40 percent of all health care services.

 
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